On this page we will look back at life in the city during the war years. Here we will provide the visitor with the stories making the news, what was happening in sports and entertainment, city politics, the social scene and the prominent people at the time. We will also recount the events occurring in the war on that day. So, check back often for new updates.
To share your family or neighborhood stories, please email PhillyWWIyears@gmail.com
TODAY IN PHILADELPHIA – THURSDAY, JUNE 17, 1915
The city will have another partly cloudy day with the high reaching 80° and the low tonight about 68°.
Correction: It was reported yesterday that Benjamin Fendell, who murdered his wife and attempted to kill his son, had died from self-inflicted razor wounds to his neck after being taken to St. Agnes Hospital. However, it has been learned that Mr. Fendell had in fact survived his wounds and may recover. Mrs. Fendell is still reported dead.
Children around the city will be happy to hear that the Board of Recreation announced today that the 23 public bath houses and pools will open next Monday. Women and girls will have exclusive use of the pools on Mondays and Thursdays. The facilities will be open Monday – Saturday from 5:00am to 9:00pm and from 5:00am to Noon on Sundays.
In business news, officers of the Philadelphia Rapid Transit Company testified today before City Councils’ General Committee and stated that jitneys are costing the company $1,000,000.00 per year in lost revenue. Councils are being asked to institute strict regulations for the operation of jitneys but some have called for the abolition of jitney service entirely. The president of the PRT, Thomas E. Mitten (shown below), claims that jitneys engage in unfair competition because they pay no wages, have no set and regulated fair system, only run in good weather and pay no taxes.
Also, Baldwin Locomotive is set to begin work on a new war order from Russia. The company will be building 365 locomotives at a cost of 1.5 million dollars. And at the Philadelphia Navy Yard Captain John J. Knapp arrives today to take command at League Island. Captain Knapp succeeds Rear Admiral William Benson. It is known that Captain Knapp like the Admiral is a strong supporter of the up building and modernization of the Yard and the institution of new and innovative equipment, techniques and policies.
The French have begun a large offensive movement in Alsace and have captured all the important positions in the valley of the Fecht River west of Kolmarin in the Vosges Mountains. Also, the British continue their advance north of Ypres capturing 1000 yards of trenches. In the east, Russian forces are reportedly beating back the German army along a 100 mile front stretching from the Baltic Sea into northern Poland.
On the Turkish front in the Dardanells, 3 Turkish troop ships have been torpedoed and sunk just outside the Golden Horn which is the sea way entrance to Constantinople. Reportedly the great majority of the Turkish troops on board the ships drowned. On Gallipoli German officers are now in command of the Turkish troops attacking the Anglo-French invasion force.